Last Wednesday night two criminals broke into a home in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay area called Brentwood, hoping to score some easy loot. But when the greedy suspects spotted a gun safe, they decided they wanted what was in it. And that's just what they got.

According to ABC7:

It happened shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday. The homeowner, who was home alone, ended up shooting both suspects.

Neighbors say the street is quiet. They sit on their porch at night and there's a school nearby. That's why hearing gun shots was so shocking. Then it was even more disturbing to learn those shots were fired by a resident who police say appeared to be defending his life.

"About 10 shots, two with a pause and then about eight more rapidly," said neighbor Reggie Nichols. He heard gunfire coming from his neighbor's house.

Nichols went outside to see what was happening. "I could see the guy lying in the street, so then I came back and got my flashlight and got my phone, ran over there. He was still alive but he wasn't doing good," Nichols said.

The homeowner came out and explained to Nichols that four men tried to break into his house about 11:40 p.m. and steal a safe.

"They made him open the safe. After he opened the safe, I guess they weren't ready for him," Nichols remarked, adding that his friend "came out blasting."

Brentwood police say two suspects came onto the neighbor's property to rob him but the man was able to get his gun, firing two shots, killing both suspects.

Investigators say one suspect had a gun, too. "The victim did fire his weapon in self-defense. And there have been no formal charges filed at this point," Brentwood Police Dept. Lt. Walter O'Grodnick said.

"I think he had the right to do what he did. Like I said, I've seen him. He was really shook up. I don't think he wanted to do it but he felt like his life was in danger," Nichols said.

Witnesses spotted another man driving off in a getaway car. Police say their investigation is still active and ongoing.

Security footage below shows two men entering the home and forcing the homeowner to open his safe. The lights flicker and he manages to fire on his assailants:

Click below for local news coverage including an interview with the witness: